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A Pigeon and a Boy: A Novel Paperback – January 6, 2009
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
The feeling I had when reading a Pigeon and a Boy by Meir Shalev that I had entered the world of a Chagall painting. In fact, what Chagall is to paint, Shalev is to words.
First they both create intense, detail-packed scenes.
Marc Chagall wastes no space as every square inch of his canvas is filled with vibrant and powerful colors and detail. A Marc Chagall painting is a feast for the eyes. These details makes the extraordinary events more plausible. Shalev's rich sensory details allow the reader not only to see, but to touch, taste and hear and fully enter the scene. The story of one of the main characters, The Baby, starts:
That day began as many other's in the baby's life, with his eyes opening as always before those of the other children. With his skin feeling the coolness and warmth of the air....With his ears listening to the male pigeons squabbling on the roof, their nails scraping the drainpipes, the hands of the woman in charge of the kibbutz children's house toiling in the small kitchen. With his nose smelling that the porridge is already cooking there, the margarine softening, the jam reddening in little dishes."
For Shalev memory is a close up lens of details: the young woman who's knees never stopped jiggling, the taste of pickles, his mother's wide brimmed yellow hat, the doctor dipping cookie after cookie into lemon and tea, his brother skipping from rock to rock while he plodded along, the smell of hot dust, the blue handkerchief that is used for tears of joy and loss. Shalev writes:
There are some people whose sensory organs capture reality for them. But with me, my sensory organs mediate between reality and memory, and not every organ in its realm.Read more ›
In this unlikely subject, the reader is treated to learning the habits and handling of homing pigeons that served as reliable means of communication during the British Mandate of the land of Israel until 1948.
It is hard to do this story justice with a synopsis or a review. The power of the novel is in the crafting of the tale as it unfolds, with the main characters--although beautifully detailed--remaining nameless but for their functions as pigeon handlers. Not so the tour guide, whose life is unraveling before it is put together again with a new love.
A great book selection for a book group, as it covers several interesting issues to discuss.
Talia Carner, author,
Puppet Child and China Doll
I suppose you'd say I enjoyed this tale, where the battle is the background, the war between palestine and israel is not the centerpoint, and the reader is not embroiled in the brutality. It is the people who leap from the page.
I am reminded of Masha Hamilton's novels about the Middle East and her ability to evoke the essence of the land and the people, wshether Israeli or Arab.
A Pigeon and a Boy: A Novel
Most Recent Customer Reviews
IT HELD MY INTEREST FROM BEGINNING TO END...FASCINATING STORY WITH FLASHBACKS GENERATIONS..MEIR SHALEV IS A MASTER STORY TELLER..... BEAUTIFULLY TRANSLATED FROM THE HEBREW...Published 1 month ago by Mildred Kaporovsky
It was a wonderful book and it probably deserved 5 stars but I found it was just too long and drawn out.But very thought provoking and touchingPublished 1 month ago by Esther Cohen
Great story and characters. learned a lot but difficult to follow which character and what time frame sometimes!!Published 1 month ago by Barbara A Stern
I loved the author's voice, both highly descriptive and sometimes surreal. The story held my interest and attention on every page. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jean Katz
I enjoyed reading about the land and people of Israel. I found it very poetically written. The characters were well described and unique and the book kept my interestPublished 4 months ago by Eileen
as often in Meir Shalef's work, histrory forms the background setting: two stories that turn out to be one- ust a lovely read with a humorous twist from time to time.Published 8 months ago by Christel Van Schandevijl